The process of breaking up and reuniting is a trope in modern relationships.
In popular culture, dramatic ruptures and reunions are given especially weighty meaning, with a tacit implication that what doesn’t kill a relationship only makes it stronger.
However, the art of breaking up and making up – as notably exhibited by Sex and the City’s Carrie and Big or Friends’ Ross and Rachel – can have adverse effects on a person’s mental health, new research suggests.
According to a study carried out at the University of Missouri in Columbia, which involved more than 500 individuals currently in couples, 60 per cent of adults have experienced an on-off relationship.
In comparison to more stable partnerships, on-off relationships were linked to higher rates of abuse, lower levels of commitment and poorer communication.
These types of relationships were associated with greater psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety.
“On-off relationships usually occur when one half of the couple is less committed than the other,” explains dating coach James Preece.
He tells The Independent that the person who is more serious about the relationship tolerates their partner’s volatility because they don’t want to risk losing them.
“The break-ups can be caused by constant arguing or infidelity, but both sides are still drawn to each other,” he continues.
One of the primary issues with this pattern is the lack of reassurance it cultivates, he adds, which can exacerbate underlying insecurities both inside and. outside of the relationship.
“It leads someone to question themselves and wonder why they aren’t good enough to sustain their partner’s interest.
“This can lead to increased amounts of jealousy, which can make people feel anxious. The longer it goes on then the worse they feel, which can result in depression.”
read more at independent.co.uk